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then, oh! then, who can tear him- vigorously carried on. Along the self from the contemplation of a scene Hampshire coast, and more particularly more sublimely interesting than all the in the Isle of Wight, almost every seacalm loveliness of a summer prospect ? faring man is engaged in it, to a less or To me its attractions were irresistible; greater extent.
For the most part, and besides those of inanimate nature, they are connected in secret associaI found other sources of interest in tions, both for co-operation and defence; studying the character and habits of the and there is a sort of freemasonry almost amphibious dwellers on that among them, the signs and tokens of coast. Generally speaking, there is which are soon apparent to an attensomething peculiarly interesting in the tive observer. “The Custon-House character of seafaring men, even of sharks," as they term them, are not those whose voyages have extended their most formidable foes, for they wage little beyond their own shores. The a more desperate warfare, (as recent fisherman's life indeed may be account- circumstances have too fatally testied one of the most constant peril. For fied, with that part of our naval force daily bread, he must brave daily dan- employed by government on the pregers. In that season when the til- ventive service. Some of the vessels lers of the ground rest from their la- on the station are perpetually hovering bours—when the artisan and mechanic along on the coast; but in spite of their are sheltered within their dwellings— utmost vigilance, immense quantities of when the dormouse and the squirrel contraband goods are almost nightly hide in their woolly nests, and the lit- landed, and no where with more daring tle birds find shelter in hollow banks frequency than in the Isle of Wight. and trees, or resort to milder regions, In my rambles along its shores, the the poor fisherman must encounter all inhabitants of almost every cottage and the fury of the combined elements— fisherman's cabin, for many miles for his children's bread is scattered on round, became known to me. I have the waters.
always a peculiar pleasure in conversIt is this perpetually enforced inter- ing with these people, in listening with course with danger that interests our familiar interest (to which they are nevfeelings so powerfully in their behalf, er insensible) tò the details of their together with its concomitant effects on feelings and opinions, and of their famtheir character-. undaunted hardihood ily concerns. With some of my new
-insurmountable • perseverance--al- acquaintances I had ventured to exposmost heroie daring; and, generally tulate on the iniquitous, as well as hazspeaking, a simplicity of heart, and a ardous nature of their secret traffic, and , tenderness of deportment towards the many wives and mothers sanctioned, females and little ones of their families, with approving looks and half-confinely contrasting their rugged exterior. strained expressions, my remonstranBut, unfortunately, it is not only in ces to their husbands and sons. These their ostensible calling of fishermen, heard for the most part in sullen downthat these men are forward in effront- looking silence, (not however expresing peril. The temptation of contra- sive of ill-will towards me,) or someband trade too often allures them from time answered my arguments with the their honest and peaceable avocations, remark, that, Poor folks, must live;" to brave the laws of their country, and that “half of them during the war, had encounter the most fearful risks, in earned an honest livelihood in other pursuit of precarious, though sometimes ways; but now they were turned adrift, considerable gains. Of late, this des- and must do something to get bread for perate trade had extended almost to an their little ones ; and, after all, while organized system; and, in spite of all the rich and great folks were pleased to the preventive measures adopted by encourage their trade, it was plain they government, it is too obvious that the could not think much harm of those numbers of these “ free traders” are who carried it on." This last was a yearly increasing, and that their haz- stinging observation, one of those with ardous commerce is more daringly and which babes and sucklings so oft encon
found the sophistry of worldly wisdom. or mending his nets by the cabin door. Amongst these humble families there At almost all hours of the night, a light was one at whose cabin I stopped of- was seen burning at the cottage wintenest, and lingered longest, in my even- dow, and the master of the family, with ing rambles. The little dwelling was his son, was invariably absent, if (as wedged in a manner into a cleft of the was sometimes my custom) I looked in grey rock, up which, on every slant- on them after dark, on my return from ing ledge, the hand of industry had ac some distant spot towards my own habcumulated garden mould, and fostered itation. a beautiful vegetation; and immediate At such an hour I was sure to find ly before it, a patch of the loveliest the female inmates, (the wife and widgreen sward sloped down to the edge of owed daughter of the man I have been the sea-sand, enamelled with aromatic describing,) in a state of visible perturwild thyme, and dotted next the ocean, bation, for which it was easy to assign with tufts of thrift, centaury, and eringo, a cause; but I had remonstrated in and with gold-coloured blossoms of vain with the infatuated husband, and the horn poppy. The peculiar neat- it was still more fruitless to argue with ness of the little cabin had early at- the helpless women. Richard Camptracted my attention, which was fur- bell was not a native of the Isle of ther interested by the singular appear- Wight, nor one trained from his youth ance of its owner. He was a large tall up to 6 go down to the sea in ships, man, of about sixty, distinguished in his and occupy his business in great waperson by an air of uncommon dignity, ters.” For many generations his famand by a dress, the peculiarity of which, ily had owned and cultivated a small together with his commanding carriage, farm in the North of England; himself and countenance of bold daring, always had been bred up a tiller of the ground, suggested the buccaneer of romantic le- contrary to his own wishes, for they had gends to my fancy. He wore large pointed from his very cradle to a sealoose trowsers of shaggy dark-blue faring life; and all his hours of boyish cloth, a sort of woollen vest, broadly pastime and youthful leisure, were spent striped with grey, for the most part in the briny element, close to which, at open at the throat and bosom, and the head of a small bay, or inlet, stood buckled in at the waist with a broad his paternal farm. Just as he had atleathern belt, in which two pistols were tained his twentieth year, his father commonly stuck, and not unfrequently died, leaving him an only child the an old cutlass ; and over his shoulder inheritor of all his little property, and was slung a second belt of broad white at liberty to follow the bent of his own knitting, to which a powder-flask, a inclination.—Tumultuous wishes and leathern-pouch, and often a thick short powerful yearnings were busy in his duck-gun, were suspended. A dark heart; but he was “ the only son of his fur cap was the usual covering of his mother, and she was a widow." He head, and his thick black hair was not staid to comfort her old age, and to so much intermingled with grey, as cultivate his little inheritance, partly streaked with locks of perfect white- influenced perhaps in his decision by ness. Notwithstanding this formidable his attachment to a pretty blue-eyed equipment, the harmless avocation of a girl, whose sweeter smiles rewarded fisherman was his ostensible employ- his filial piety, and whose hand was very ment, though to all appearance, not shortly its richer recompense. The widvery zealously pursued; for in the day- owed mother continued to dwellander time he was oftener to be seen lying her son's roof, tended like Naomi, by a along the shore in the broad sun, or daughter-in-law as loving as Ruth, but strolling by the water's edge, or clean- happier than the Hebrew
matron in the ing the lock of his gun under the sha- possession of both her children. dow of a projecting crag, than busied Many children were born to the with a hook and line in his little boat, young couple, “ as likely boys and girls
13 ATHENBUM VOL. 11.
as ever the sun shone upon,” said the her loss, though we felt it sorely.” In wife of Campbell, from whom, at differ- addition to his own land, Campbell ent times, I gleaned “ the simple an- rented some acres of a neighbouring nals” I am relating. “But God was gentleman, whose disposition was restvery good to them. He increased their lessly litigious, and Campbell being unstore with their increasing family, and happily fiery and impetuous, disputes provided bread for the little mouths arose between them, and proceeded to that were sent to claim it. She never such lengths, that both parties finally grudged her labour, and a better nor a referred their differences to legal arbikinder husband than she was blessed trement. After many tedious, and with, never woman had. To be sure, apparently frivolous delays, particularhe had his fancies and particular ways, ly irritating to Campbell's impatient and when he could steal a holiday, all spirit, the cause was given in favour of his delight was to spend it on the bay his opponent; and from that hour he that was near their farm, (the worse adopted the firm persuasion that imluck) for many an anxious hour had she partial justice was banished from the known even then, when he was out in land of his fathers. This fatal prejuhis little boat shooting wild-fowl in the dice turned all his thoughts to bitterness, dark winter's nights. But no harm —haunted him like a phantom in his ever came to him, only their dearest fields, by his cheerful hearth, in his boy, their dear Maurice," (the mother once-peaceful bed, in the very embraces never named him without a glistening of his children,“ who, were born," he eye) took after his father's fancy for would tell them, in the midst of their the sea, and set his heart on being a innocent caresses,“ slaves in the land sailor.” And the father called to mind where their fathers had been free men." his own youthful longings, and would In this state of mind he eagerly lisnot control those of his child, especial- tened to the speculative visions of a few ly as he had another son, a fine prom- agricultural adventurers, who had emising lad, who took willingly to the bu- barked their small capital on an Amerisiness of the farm, and already lighten- can project, and were on the point of ed his father's labours. The mother quitting their native country to seek grieved sore at parting with her first- wealth, liberty,and independence, in the born, (what feelings are like those of a back settlements of the United States. mother toward her first-born ?) and in an evil hour, Campbell was persuadthe young Maurice was her most loving ed to embark his fortunes with those of and dutiful child, and she had reared the self-expatriated emigrants. him with such anxious tenderness as tears and entreaties of his wife and chilonly mothers feel, through the perilous dren were unavailing to deter him from years of a sickly infancy. But the fa- his rash purpose; and the unhappy ther jested with her fears, and enterad mother was torn from the beloved home, with the ardour of a boyish heart into where her heart lingered with a thouhis son's enterprizing hopes; and at sand tender reminiscences, and most last the youth won from her an unwil- tenaciously in the persuasion, that if ling consent. And when she shook her her lost child was ever restored to his head mournfully to his promises of native country, to the once happy bringing rare and beautiful things from abode of his parents his first steps foreign parts for her and his little sis- would be directed. The ships in which ter, coaxed a half smile into her looks, the Campbells were embarked, with by concluding with, “ And then I will their five remaining children, and all stay quiet with you and father, and their worldly possessions, performed never want to leave you again."-"My two-thirds of her course with prosperMaurice left us," said the mother, "and ous celerity ; but as she approached from that time every thing went wrong. her destined haven, the wind, which had Before he had been gone a month, we hitherto favoured her, became contraburied my husband's mother ; but God ry, and she lost sea-way for many days. called her away in a good old age, so At last, a storm which had been gathwe had no right to take on heavily at ering with awfully gradual preparation,
burst over her with tremendous fury. . bound West India trader, into which Three days and nights she drove before the perishing adventurers were received it, but on the fourth her masts and rig- with prompt humanity; and on her ging went overboard, and before the reaching her appointed haven, (Portswreck could be cut away, a plank in mouth) Campbell, with his companions the ship's side was stove in by the in misfortune, and the remnant of his floating timbers. In the confusion once-flourishing family once more set which had assembled every soul on foot on British earth. He had saved deck, the leak was not discovered till about his person a small part of his the water in the hold bad gained to a little property ; but the whole residue depth of many feet; and though the was insufficient to. equip them for a pump was set to work immediately, and second attempt, had he even been so for a time kept going by the almost su- obstinately bent on the prosecntion of perhuman exertions of crew and passen- his trans-Atlantic scheme as to persist gers, all was unavailing; and to betake in it against (what appeared to him the themselves to the boats was the last hur- declared will of the Almighty. Once, ried and desperate resource. Campbell in his younger days, he had visited the had succeeded in lowering his three Isle of Wight, and the remembrance of youngest children into one of them,alrea- its stone cottages, and beautiful bays, dy crowded with their fellow-sharers in was yet fresh in his mind. He crossed calamity, and was preparing to send over with his family, and a few weeks down his eldest son and daughter, and put him in possession of a neat cabin to descend himself with their mother in and small fishing-boat ; and for a time his arms, when a woman pressing be- the little family was subsisted in frugal fore him with despairing haste, leapt confort by the united industry of the down into the crowded boat, which up- father and son. Soon after their setileset in an instant, and the perishing cry ment in the island, their daughter (maof twenty drowning creatures mingled tured to lovely womanhood) married a with the agonizing shriek of parents, respectable and enterprizing young husbands, and children, from the deck man, the owner of a pilot vessel
. In of the sinking ship. The other boat the course of three years she brought was yet alongside, and Campbell was her husband as many children, an : duat last seated in her with his two sur- ring that time all went well with them; viving children, and their unconscious but her William's occupation, a lucramother, who sunk into a state of bless- tive one in time of war, exposed him to ed insensibility, when the drowning frequent and fearful dangers, and one screams of her lost little ones rung in tempestuous winter's night, having venher ears. Five-and-twenty persons tured out to the assistance of a perisha were wedged in this frail bark, with a ing vessel, his own little vessel foundercask of water, and a small bag of bis- ed in the attempt, and the morning's cuit. An old sail had been flung down tide floated her husband's corpse to the with these scanty stores, which they feet of his distracted wife, as she stood contrived to hoist on the subsiding of on the sea-beach watching every white the storm, toward the evening of their sail that became visible through the first day's commitment in that “ for. haze of the grey-clouded dawn. lorn bope," to the wide world of wa The forlorn widow and her orphan ters. Their compass had been lost in babes found a refuge in the humble the large boat, and faint indeed were cabin of her father, and he and his son their hopes of ever reaching land, from redoubled their laborious exertions for whence they had no means of comput- their support. But these were heavy ing their distance. But the unsleep- claims, and the little family but just ing eye of Providence watched over contrived to live, barely supplied with them, and on the fourth day of their the coarsest necessaries. When tempmelancholy progress, a sail making tation assails the poor man by holding towards them was descried on the out to his grasp the means of lessening verge of the horizon. It neared, and the hardships and privations of those the ship proved to be a homeward. dear to him as his own soul, is it to be
wondered at that he so often fails, when tea-table, when a powdered footman others, without the same excuses to entered, and spoke a few words in a plead, set him the example of yielding? mysterious hall whisper to the elder laCampbell (having first been seduced dy, who smiled and replied, “Oh, tell into casual and inconsiderable ventures) her to come in; there is no one here was at last enrolled in the gang of of whom she need be apprehensive." smugglers, who carried on their peri- The communication of which assurance lous trade along the coast; and from quickly ushered into the room my new that time though comparative plenty acquaintance Margaret Campbell
. An revisited his cottage, the careless smile old rusty black bonnet was drawn of innocent security no longer beamed down lower than usual over her face, on the features of its inmates. Marga- and her dingy red cloak (under which ret struggled long with well-principled she carried some bulky parcel) was firmness against the infatuation of her wrapped round a figure that seemed husband ; but, flushed with success, endeavouring to shrink itself into the and emboldened by association with least possible compass. At sight of me numbers, they resisted her anxious re- she half started, and dropt her eyes monstrances; and at last, heartsick of with a fearful curtsey. “ Ab, Margafruitless opposition, and shrinking from ret !" I exclaimed, too well divining the the angry frown of him who had been object of her darkling embassy. But for so many years the sharer of her the lady of the house encouraged her joys and sorrows, she very passively to advance, laughingly saying, “Oh, acquiesced in their proceedings, and in never mind Mr. he will not inthe end was persuaded to contribute form against us, though he shakes his her share towards furthering them, by head so awfully-Well
, have you secretly disposing of the unlawfully ob- brought the tea "_" And the lace, tained articles.
and the silk scarfs ?” chimed in the During my abode in the Isle of Wight, younger ladies, with eager curiosity I had become acquainted with two or sparkling in their eyes, as they almost three families resident within a few dragged the important budget, with miles of the spot where I had taken up their own hands, from beneath the my habitation. With one of these poor woman's cloak.
“ Have you (consisting of a widow lady of rank and brought our scarfs at last? what a time her two grown-up daughters) I had we have been expecting them !”— been previously acquainted in Lon- “ Yes, indeed," echoed Lady Mary; don, and at other places. They had “and, depending on your promise of been recommended by the medical procuring me some, I have been quite adviser of the younger daughter, who distressed for tea—There is really no was threatened with a pulmonary af- dependance on your word, Mrs. Campsection, to try the effects of a winter at bell; and yet I have been at some the back of the island, and I was agree- pains to impress you with a just sense ably surprised to find them inhabitants of your christian duties, amongst which of a beautiful villa, “a cottage of hu- you have often heard me remark, (and mility,” about three miles from my own I am sure the tracts I have given you cabin at the Undercliff. They were inculcate the same lesson,) that a strict agreeable and accomplished women; attention to truth is one of the most esand a few hours spent in their compa- sential—Well! Where's the tea ?"ny formed a pleasing and not unfre- “Oh! my lady,” answered the poor quent variety in my solitary life ; and woman with a humbly deprecating tone in the dearth of society incident to their and look, “ if you did but know what insulated retreat, my fair friends conde- risks we run to get these things, and scended to tolerate, and even welcome how uncertain our trade is, you would the eccentric old bachelor with their not wonder that we cannot always oblige most gracious smiles. One November our customers so punctually as we evening my ramble had terminated at would wish I have brought the silks their abode, and I had just drawn my and scarfs for the young ladies, but the chair into the cheerful circle round the tea—"« What! no tea yet ? Real